The Greatest, The Louisville Lip, The Champ, Ali
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, " Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." Muhammad Ali
On this day 72 years ago a champion was born in Louisville, KY by the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. who would later become Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Ky his birth name Cassius Marcellus Clay comes from 19th century abolitionist and politician. His a descendant of pre-Civil War American slaves and has predominantly African American descent with Irish and English ancestry. He was raised as Baptist under his mother's leadership.
Amateur Boxing Career: Ali's boxing career began when he was 12 years old when another young boy stole his bicycle he said he was going to "whup the thief." He was directed by a local police officer and boxing coach named Joe E. Martin to pursue boxing for the next four years he trained with Chuck Bodak. He graduated from Central High School Louisville's first and only all Black High School.
He won six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden glove titles, an Amateur Athletic Union, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome during is amateur career he had 100 wins with 5 losses.
Professional Career: Ali has remained to be the only heavy weight boxer to win the title three times 1964, 1974, and 1978. He fought a total of 61 fights, 56 wins, 5 losses, o draws, 0 contests.
Outside of the Ring: Ali had an exciting personality, he was charming, handsome, and intelligent. Ali walked to the beat of his own drum and pissed off the White Establishment. He was proud of his Black Heritage and fought the US Government with refusal to participate in the Vietnam War he was stripped of his title. Ali is loved by many and hated by many. I love this man not only for his athletic ability but I love him more for staying true to himself. He was not afraid to say what was on his mind, he was not afraid to stand up for his religious beliefs, he is a humanitarian. More than anything I just appreciate the fact that Ali was not an Uncle Tom and always wanted to uplift his community in Louisville and around the world.